Practice #1: Building Trust
Effective partnerships are characterized by mutual trust, respect, genuineness, and commitment.
One of the necessary components of a community partnership is trust. Being trustworthy means you are reliable, good, honest, and effective. To build trust in a community partnership, you should:
- Arrive on time according to the agreed upon schedule.
- Dress appropriately for the situation.
- Greet people warmly and make small talk.
- Fulfill your agreed upon responsibilities (in other words, get your work done on time).
- Show concern and care for the partnership.
- Be open and honest about your feelings, needs, thoughts, ideas, wishes, and preferences.
- Value the feelings, needs, thoughts, ideas, wishes and preferences of others.
- Demonstrate a positive attitude, including showing respect with your body language and through other non-verbal communications.
Build trust by being respectful, genuine, and committed
Katherine, a psychology student at the UofM, is a volunteer on a research project that is conducted in partnership with a local school. When Katherine goes out to meet with teachers to conduct observations at the school, Katherine finds that the teachers are often wary of what information she is collecting during the observation. After consulting with her supervisor on the project, she schedules a time to meet with the teachers to talk with them about their concerns. Katherine answers their questions and addresses their concerns openly. Katherine also tells the teachers about her own personal experiences as a student and how her interest in this research project comes from her own experiences.
How does this example show trust building behavior?
Based on the information given in the example we don't know if Katherine showed up on time, dressed appropriately, and was warm and welcoming. However, we do know that Katherine showed concern and care for the partnership by scheduling a time to meet with the teachers. We also know that she showed openness and honesty by sharing her personal experiences with the teachers. All of these things are important as you work to build trust.